Paul Spray is the son of Christine Spray, who is also featured here and tells the story of her journey out to Africa when Paul was a very small boy.
Paul spent his first five years in Nigeria as his father had been appointed Principal of a secondary school and teacher training college by the Methodist Missionary Society. He was home-schooled by his mother until the ages of 8, when the family returned to the UK and Paul was sent to boarding school. As a teenager, Paul would sneak out of school to attend the local Methodist church.
After leaving school, Paul went to Cambridge University and joined the MethSoc (where he met his wife) and the Student Christian Movement (SCM). In this extract, Paul recalls an SCM event in Manchester in 1968 that changed his direction in life.
Bishop Camara 1.19′
After doing a couple of years’ teaching in Lesotho, Paul came back to the UK and did a course in Development Studies and then went back to Africa, to work for the Botswana government.
In this next extract, Paul talks candidly about how his faith influenced his next job. He had to decide between the public sector British National Oil Corporation and the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR).
Paul says that twice in his life, he’s overwhelmingly felt the presence of God. Once was when working for Christian Aid. Paul had successfully co-organised a day on the Church’s work in Africa during a CCBI conference (Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland). At the end of the event, he felt literally ‘held in the arms of God like a little baby’.
The other occasion was during a difficult patch in his life when he took his wife Wendy’s advice to meditate.
In the arms of God 1.14′